Tag Archives: technology

Pokemon, Smart Phones, and the Rime of the Ancient Librarian

I think I mentioned before that I was one of the last hold outs on the whole “smart phone” thing.  I have a cell phone, but it just makes calls and texts.  The fact that I can text puts me above, say, my parents, but that’s about it.  Otherwise I am left in the dust.  Get out of the way, you stupid cars, my buggy has just as much right to be here as you do.

It’s strange to think that it wasn’t all that long ago (for someone who is like farthead 40) that we didn’t even have the things.  Can you remember what that was like?  I can.  It was such a total pain.  Like you had to go inside a building, or to a phone booth, and call someone if you needed something.  I’m pretty sure even homeless people have smart phones at this point, and they are only on the street corner to catch a Pokemon*.  But not me.  I didn’t even get my “dumb phone” until I was pregnant with crazy baby (Thing Two) .  I was at a point where it would not have been at all odd for me to suddenly burst into flames and have the doctors call it “just another wacky pregnancy thing”.  So I wanted a phone in case of baby emergency, and we weren’t even close to labor yet.

My current phone

My current phone

I think most people started that way.  I need a phone for emergencies.  Also to talk to my mom.  And keep tabs on my boyfriend.  And crush candy and pretend farm and catch imaginary monsters.  It’s IMPORTANT.  Heck with you, Superman, who now has to run inside a J.C. Penny’s to change thanks to us getting rid of the phone booths; we need our phones.  Why?  Because everyone else needs them, and the world goes along with everyone else.  It’s like everyone else is on cocaine, and I better get drugs fast, or I am never gonna fit into this world at all.

Are they even called smart phones anymore?  This is how out of touch I am.

Wait.  This is exactly what happened in Wonderland – you gotta be stoned to fit in.  Well, I guess we crossed that bridge with the presidential election a long time ago, so whatever.  My kids are some of the last kids not to have smart phones.  What is a good age to get a kid one of these phones?  I’ve seen toddlers with them, because you never know when little Jaxxon will need to make an urgent phone call.  “Juuuuice!” is something I so often hear them scream into their phones.  Or text with their pudgy fingers.  But seriously, no, it’s the educational games on the phones they like.  Because “Peek-a-Boo” takes up way too much time, and uses your hands, and now our wrists hurt from carpal tunnel.  But please give it back because Mommy has stuff to do.  Her crops are wilting, her boss has more Pokemon power-ups than she does, and Daddy is not going to stalk himself.

Crap I just lost all my data!

Crap I just lost all my data! Darn kids.

I don’t know what a Pokemon power-up is and I don’t want to know.

What’s this about stalking?  Oh, that’s a fun thing I learned from a 20-something co-worker a while back.  “See,” she said happily.  “I can tell where everyone I know is right now.  Here is my boyfriend at work.  Here’s mom at the grocery store.  Here’s all 72 of my best friends at the mall.”  I found this a little disconcerting.  “What if you don’t want someone to know where you are 24/7?” I asked.  She looked at me with a face that clearly did not comprehend the question.  Of COURSE you would want to know where everyone was all the time.  I told my husband about this feature.  He said if we ever get smart phones, he is tossing his in a truck going cross country.  I don’t blame him.

Yet I can only hold out so much longer because the world changes to fit our technology.  My kids are actually expected to have it and bring it to school for “Share your technology day” where they use their own expensive electronic devices instead of the school supplying them, and if these devices should be lost or stolen, the school is in no way responsible please sign here.

It’s not just phones, though, it’s technology period that is going haywire (pun intended).  Phones are just mini computers now, even smaller than the NUC on my desk.  That’s NUC not Nuke, though it certainly sounds like I have a rather dangerous bomb on my desk, but believe me it’s not even half as useful.  See at work they took away our computer towers and gave us these tiny boxes that have like one whole usb port in them for you to plug your stuff in, which certainly beats the towers which had a CD drive, several usb ports, and acted as a nice shelf for my office mate and me.  We were not impressed with these new boxes.  Yeah, they were smaller, but with one port you had to get another thingy to plug into it that is a square thing with 4 ports on in, so you can actually plug more than one thing in it at a time.  If you want me to explain what a usb port is, you are worse off than I am, but not by much.  All I know is it’s like an outlet.  I’m not even totally versed on how electricity works, except that you plug something in and ‘bing’ a light comes on.  It could be fairies coming through the wires for all I know (or care).

We no longer have monitors this large, but we are still just as stoned as these kids.

We no longer have monitors this large, but we are still just as stoned as these kids.

I don’t adjust well to new things, especially technology.  I refused to learn that wild mp3 thing until my husband bought one for me and showed me how and then I really liked this little thing I could store my music on.  Except now mp3 players, like the Sony Walkman cassettes and CDs, are so old that my snobby computer refuses to recognize the software. Seriously, it just totally ignores it, like, you are so not worth my time.  Why?  Because you can get that on your phone.  Along with a camera, a GPS, a best friend (hi Siri), and God only knows what else.  Why do my devices have to multitask?  I don’t expect my dryer to also take selfies and cook me a mean pot roast.  It dries clothes. That’s it.  But the computer at your fingertips does everything.  You can pay bills on the phone.  You can also check out books.

It should be known that I did not start using the library computer catalog until they removed the physical card catalog – the one with all the cards in it.  And I was one of them “Youngins” then.

If you don't remember what this is, I hate you.

If you don’t remember what this is, I hate you.

Yet you have to eventually give in just to keep up in this world.  I don’t want to be the only one not getting mugged in alleys or falling off cliffs while chasing pretend monsters.  So I guess I’ll have to get the smart phone.  And update my computer.  You know.  Eventually.

When they take away my pay-by-the-month dumb phone, most likely.

~Alice

*I so did not use Pokemon in the title just to get more hits.  Okay, I did.

 

In Praise of Pen and Paper

People say flying is safer than driving.  I think there are a lot of reasons behind this.  For one thing, most people have a couple of cars, but few people have a couple of planes parked in front of their houses.  Unless they’re John Travolta.  Which means most people drive a lot more than they fly.  So there are more wrecks than there are plane crashes.

Doesn’t mean planes are way better than cars.  I like what one comedian said about it – “At least when my car stalls, I don’t plummet 30,000 feet.”  Good point, man.

Also, planes have creepy faces.

Also, planes have creepy faces.

Same with computers.  I like computers.  They make a lot of stuff easier.  You can copy and paste without glue, and you can save entire books to tiny travel drives that you can then lose, and you don’t get ink on your fingers or bed sheets.  I used to write in spiral notebooks with an erasable ink pen.  I couldn’t erase the ink  off my sheets, which happened because I always had a spiral and a pen in my bed writing stories, and sometimes forgot about them.  I used to have stacks of these notebooks.

I don’t write by hand much anymore.  I blame school for destroying my hand with all the notes I had to write.  My hand cramps if I write more than a paragraph now.  But that’s okay, because we have computers, and we can store stuff on the Internetz or even better on the Cloud.

I like clouds.  Sometimes they look like bunnies, or Velociraptors.  I’m not so sure about storing information on them. They don’t seem that stable, what with the fluffiness.

Happy little cloud . . .

Happy little cloud . . .

Last night I wrote on a story.  I spent a few hours.  And then I saved it.  I’m pretty sure I did, because it always asks if I’m sure I don’t want to save and it didn’t ask that.  Computers are supposed to check on you in case you’re stupid that way.  Right after it disappeared from the screen, I could not find it.  I thought it was accidentally saved in a temporary file. You can’t find those blasted things for anything.  I did all the stuff it said to recover files in the troubleshooting guide, except actually shoot the computer, which I was tempted to do.

There are various ways to extract files from your computer.

There are various ways to extract files from your computer.

I think my work is on a freaking cloud somewhere.  Poof.

Pen and ink might be old fashioned.  But when I’m done writing, it doesn’t plummet 30,000 feet into the cybersphere either.  Sometimes I miss the old days, even with inky sheets.

Dear WordPress

Hey, WordPress!

It’s amazing how much time you can waste trying to figure out how to outfit a blog.  I think I’ve spent less time picking out my clothes.  Actually, I know I’ve spent less time doing that.  People at work will tell you so.  Anyway, last night I decided to personalize my blog some because that seemed like an efficient use of my time.  (By the way, do you like the new background?  That only took 2,394 hours for me to figure out how to do!) 

Here’s the thing, though.  I’m still technologically inept.  I didn’t grow up with computers, at least not like we have today.  When I was a kid, we had the Apple IIc and we were HAPPY, dangit.  We had floppy disks that stored like .000000001 bites of data each.  This computer came with unique games, like this one where you made tiny little apples fall into a bin.  ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT EXCITEMENT PEOPLE.  But still, we were satisfied, because what the heck did we know?

You’ll have your Apple and you’ll LIKE it!

If you’ll notice, WordPress, I have been nice in my post.  See, no dirty words yet!  I don’t care what Sunday School says, “dangit” doesn’t count!  Anyway, I am really hoping that someone knows how to do some of this stuff I’m trying to do because I have looked at your help site and it wasn’t much help.  For one thing, there’s a lot of reading there, and who has time for that crap?  (Crap is also okay, because that is a bodily function, am I right?)  I need some help here, so I’m just going to post my questions, because when you put questions like this into the search box, for some reason you don’t find answers.  Here we go.

1. How do you put a pic from your blog into the little box beside your name – the one that appears when you post comments? You know, the box thingie.  WordPress doesn’t recognize “box thingie” in its search feature.  Anyway, I know about gravatars, which frankly sounds like some sort of kidney disorder, but I can’t get it into the box.  If you scroll over the box, you see my pic, but then it just goes back to that lame G for gravatar.  Or worse, sparkles, and I don’t like sparkles, not after Twilight, you guyz.  So help me out here because I’m already at maximum level for frustration, and you don’t want to see Librarian Rage. 

Yeah, I tried that. THANKS.

2. My subtitle is white, and the background is white, so now you can’t see my fabulous subtitle (down the rabbit hole).  My millions of viewers are going to get eyeball strain.  How do I change the font type?  How do I change the color of the font?  How do I change the size of the font?  Or do you have to pay for that?  Cause if you do, that kind of sucks.

3. At one point, I swear there was this diagram thing where you could design where you wanted to put stuff on your blog.  Now I can’t find it.  I wanted to put a little note about the site where I found my original Alice in Wonderland pictures, because the originals are 1,000 times cooler than the Disney ones, no offense, Walt.  The site is called Lenny’s Alice in Wonderland site (btw he knows how to put the picture thingies by his name too!) But I can’t put a note on my blog about it, nor can I put up my own copyright notice.  Because I just KNOW there are people wanting to steal my stuff but it is mine so no you can’t you guyz!  Plagiarizing is not cool, unless you’re pretty sure you can get away with it and make millions of dollars.   Anyway, I need to know how to put that stuff on my blog.  I wish I could just write it on the screen.  That would be easier, but might affect the monitor’s performance.  I dunno.

4. You know how some people have the static page (not like static electricity.  A page that stays there.  I think.) that has links on it so you can easily hop to that post so you don’t have to read any of their other crap?  Saying they have crap you don’t want to read?  Yeah, how do you do that?  Because I’m willing to bet there are people who would prefer to skip a lot of my crap.  I want a page with links.  Like Speaker7 has on her page (although I like reading all of her crap) that lets you jump to whatever recrap you want.  Like the one where Hugo / Christian  puts playdough balls up Goofy / Ana’s “down there”.  If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, then you should go see Speaker 7 because I’m busy here, people.  Also, and this has nothing to do with WordPress, but you should know anyway because you want pics from us all the time, right?  How do you write on photos?  Like thought balloons making people say stupid stuff.  I need to know how to do this. 

Like this. The world needs to know what this stupid bird is thinking. Now.

5. Why do you call the posts you pick  “Freshly Pressed”?  That makes me think of mammograms.  Just wondering.

Okay, I think that’s all for now.  Thanks in advance.

Alice.